West Delaware Storage LLC received approval of a preliminary development plan request during Monday’s meeting of Delaware City Council. The request consists of a 101,200-square-foot self-storage facility on an 11-acre site located on the south side of Pittsburgh Drive, just east of South Section Line Road.
The preliminary development plan was first approved by the Delaware Planning Commission during its Feb. 2 meeting.
The site, which is zoned as M2-General Manufacturing District, would include 11 storage buildings ranging in size from 1,800 to 12,000 square feet. A total of 500 units is being proposed, with 80 of the units being climate-controlled. Also included would be 35 RV or boat storage units, as well as 120 RV or boat exterior parking spaces.
Both the units and a 450-square-foot office building would be enclosed by fencing, with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment monitoring the 24-hour facility.
Council previously approved a combined preliminary and final development plan for an outdoor storage yard and a 29,000-square-foot warehouse in February 2017, but the project never materialized to the construction phase.
As part of the final development plan process, West Delaware Storage LLC will need to provide details on a landscaping plan. City documents for the proposed facility stated the plan must include street trees, front yard trees, and parking lot landscaping. The documents also stated all outdoor storage of vehicles must be enclosed with a solid wall or fence, with the wall having a height tall enough to conceal all operations and materials from view.
Signage and lighting plans will also be discussed during the final development plan process.
During the reading, Planning and Community Development Director Dave Efland noted to council that West Delaware Storage LLC was within its right to move forward with a self-storage unit under the currently permitted uses of the M2 district. However, he added that should either council or the Planning Commission want to look at excluding self-storage developments from the industrial zoning districts, “we certainly can do that.”
The city’s staff report stated, “Though M2 currently permits the uses in the application herein, and this applicant must be allowed to move through the process under that determination, staff would raise the subject of if the (Planning) Commission or City Council desired to direct staff to research and report on if it makes sense to potentially bring forward changes in the future to the industrial use districts specifically not allowing these types of uses.
“There are many localities that might typically desire these types of uses in industrial areas, and there are sites and areas in the city where they certainly have made practical sense, including this particular site. However, these uses can also be viewed as more in character, scale, impacts, and scope with commercial uses and confined to those districts as well.”
The report went on to state that it’s possible that, upon further review, the city finds the uses allowed with indoor and outdoor storage units to be so similar to that of warehouses that no distinction can be made between the two, thus keeping the permitted uses of the district the same.